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5 Must-Make Recipes for Grilling Season

Popular cookbooks by incredible chefs provide inspiration for your summer gatherings

spinner image five books including asada: the art of mexican-style grilling,  chiles and smoke: b b q, grilling, and other fire-friendly recipes with spice and flavor, pulp: a practical guide to cooking with fruit, southern and smoked: cajun cooking through the seasons and southern cooking, global flavors on wooden table with blurred background of grill, table and chairs and trees
Photo Collage: MOA Staff; (Source: Abrams, Harvard Common Press, Chronicle Books, Pelican Publishing, Rizzoli, Getty Images)

Whether you favor a flat-top, gas-fueled grill or good, old-fashioned charcoal, ’tis the season for firing up the flames and trying your hand at everything from burgers to veggies — all without heating up your kitchen. Here are five recipes you’ll want to add to your rotation.


spinner image black bean quinoa burger with avocado on it on plate; cut up tomato next to it
Kristen Penoyer

Black Bean Quinoa Burger with Baby Artichoke and Fingerling Potato Fries

Top Chef fans will recognize chef Kenny Gilbert from Season 7. The Cleveland-born chef has been at the helm of top resort restaurants in the country and serves as one of Oprah Winfrey’s private chefs. Now he spills some of his best recipe secrets in a beautiful new cookbook, Southern Cooking, Global Flavors, written with Nan Kavanaugh. The detailed recipes and rich photography take home cooks on a journey back to Gilbert’s roots in Southern cooking, now punctuated by his international travels. You’ll find plenty to love, including hearty dishes for the grill and year-round side dishes.

Try it: Black Bean Quinoa Burger with Baby Artichoke and Fingerling Potato Fries


spinner image grilled scallops and corn on plate
Brad Prose

Summer BBQ Grilled Scallops and Corn

Chef Brad Prose is a self-described “grilling nut” on a mission to inspire others to try bold, new flavor combinations. In his new book, Chiles and Smoke: BBQ, Grilling, and Other Fire-Friendly Recipes with Spice and Flavor, he details tried-and-true techniques using chile peppers from around the world (not all of which are spicy!). The result is vibrant, interesting flavors that will keep your grilling repertoire exciting all year long. Perhaps best of all, Prose designed his recipes to be mixed and matched. For example, if you find a marinade or sauce recipe you love, it’s easy to pair it with a different meat or vegetable to customize it to your taste.

Try it: Summer BBQ Grilled Scallops and Corn


spinner image grilled chicken with apricots, red onion and basil on two plates
EE Berger

Grilled Chicken with Apricots, Red Onion + Basil

Who says fruit can’t be part of a summer grilling rotation? Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit, by Michigan-based farmer-turned-chef Abra Berens, puts any doubt to rest. When fruit is set over an open flame, the result is often more intense flavors that pair deliciously with grilled meat or can even be served as a dessert on its own. While this gorgeously written and illustrated book, with more than 215 recipes, isn’t specifically dedicated to grilling, grilling enthusiasts will find plenty to enjoy.

Try it: Grilled Chicken with Apricots, Red Onion + Basil


spinner image tongs holding long thing of ribs
Denny Culbert and Joseph Vidrine

Barbecue Ribs and Baked Beans

Chef Jarred I. Zeringue’s family has lived and farmed in the River Parishes of southern Louisiana for nearly 300 years, and he learned Cajun cooking from his mother, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Now he leads kitchens in New Orleans’ French Quarter and in LaPlace (called “the Andouille Capital of the World”) and brings that magical blend of culinary influences to home cooks with Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking Through the Seasons. The book is organized by season, making it easy to leverage in-season produce to create fresh, flavorful dishes, and Zeringue provides smart tips for making the recipes easy to follow.

Try it: Barbecue Ribs and Baked Beans


spinner image citrus and spice costillitas on grill
Quentin Bacon

Citrus and Spice Costillitas

This vibrant cookbook starts with the words “Carne asada is not just a taco.” To James Beard Award-nominated authors Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral, asada — or Mexican-style grilled meat — is a whole experience, filled with joyful interactions between friends, family and neighbors while gathered around the fire. To that end, Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling is filled with vibrant photos and step-by-step instructions for how to perfect what Lopez sees as the eight essential pieces of any carne asada: botanas (appetizers), carnes (meats), mariscos (seafood), side dishes and vegetables, salsas, aguas frescas (refreshing juices), cocktails and dessert. If you’re aspiring to take your outdoor hosting to the next level, this is the book for you.

Try it: Citrus and Spice Costillitas


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